Visual storytelling: new image feature added to Shorthand

New image feature offers visual storytellers another way to add photos and graphics with impact

At Shorthand we think a lot about how the way a story is presented can help better communicate a narrative. How a clean layout and design can help unravel complex subjects and invite readers to engage, how emotive imagery can illustrate a feeling or atmosphere, how an interactive can offer greater context and meaning. 

And we're always looking at what we could add to our collection of features to make it easier for storytellers to bring their stories to life.

One of the latest additions is a new image feature, available in Shorthand's Media section, which lets Shorthand storytellers add standalone images that will remain at their original aspect ratio across screen sizes. Which means no cropping on smaller screens.

Our free tool, Shorthand Social – used for this Insights post – also has a Media section with the same image feature enabled. This has been added below to demonstrate how the feature works here.

The image below, for example, is a particularly widescreen image, that remains as such on smaller and larger screens.

In comparison, if I added the same image to a Text Over Media section, as below, it is cropped in order to remain full-screen across displays.

This also means that if you add a portrait image to your story, that is taller than the screen it is viewed on, you can effectively scroll through the image, rather than it being made to sit full-screen. As below:

This feature could also be useful when adding static charts, graphs and maps, and other images where it is important no detail gets cropped at the edges.

Although if you'd like to use the Reveal effect as part of your image, you'll need to use a Text Over Media section instead (and follow our guidelines for avoiding cropping of detail).

You can try out this feature, and others, in our Shorthand demo area – jump straight in to start testing out the tools available. The functionality is pretty similar to the above, which demonstrates how the feature works in Shorthand Social.

For more on the latest features being added to Shorthand, and examples of how others are using the app for visual storytelling, sign up for our newsletter below:

And if you're interested in more information on how you can start using Shorthand, there's more detail here.